violin, cello, piano and processing

Gleam; Edge; Curve; Point; Incision; Plunge

Action demands incision, a rending of skin, plunging into the flesh and mechanism beneath; a fearless touching, hearing, and seeing of that which must be known. The violin bow slices time into strips of cause and effect; the piano keys cut pitch into equal portions of dream and regret; synchronized bodies rend space for all to enter and be marked.

The gleaming edge, the curve and point of these actions are the destination, the finely ground line of resistance and insistence, the source of delight and delirium as one scurries across the cusp of knowing.

We are the instruments of others’ fears and terrors, needs and desires. In donning the role of instrument, we feel both the wound of subjugation and the pain of freedom. The rapiers of bow and string shred one reality and offer us another, plead and demand, heal and destroy, with both sound and silence.

Pourriez-vous être le couteau dans ma vie? continues a line of work begun with Horizo (2002) for 16 instruments and digital processing. The instruments of the ensemble are processed in real-time by various digital effects. In addition, the instruments also serve as the source of an electroacoustic component: fragments of the instrumentalists’ performance are captured and subsequently transformed and combined with other fragments to create a virtual ensemble that revisits the live ensemble later in the work. Process and sound are unified in the actions of the performers. Pourriez-vous être le couteau dans ma vie? was commissioned by Trio Fibonacci with financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts.

  • Score available at CMC National (bureau à Toronto).
  • Recording: available at SMCQ’s office